Botswana: No more abuse, i am in control

Date: July 4, 2019
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I was 40 years of age  I have been living in an abusive relationship without realizing that the man whom I loved so much that even when he treated me badly I thought it was because of love, was actually abusing me. I was also afraid of him because he was much older than me.

He did not allow me to visit my friends, he wanted me to just stay at home. Whenever he found that I was not home he would beat me accusing me of leaving his child alone. But he would have been with the woman he was having an affair with and with whom he stayed. He continued abusing me while he stayed with the other woman. His parents came and discussed this matter and they concluded and resolved that the woman be chased out of his house and I was asked to move in.

Our relationship got better when I was staying at his place but his aunt started swearing at me and called me names saying that the house we were living in belonged to her. The situation got so worse that she refused to let me use the toilet or have access to water. It was so bad that I thought of going back to my mother but hesitated only because I had no means of making a living. But in the end I decided to go back home even though I knew it would be tough.

I learned a lot about abuse like the different types of gender-based violence. I also learned that there are other forms of abuse other than physical abuse. I realized that my boyfriend had been abusing me while I had thought that he loved me and that as a woman I had to stand up for myself and make my own living and not expect someone to provide for me because he will only end up abusing me.

The business training workshop that I attended taught me how I can run my own business, how I can determine if my business is growing or not and how I can save money. I have no doubt that the business I am about to start soon will be will be successful.

I learned that I should never give up and this has encouraged me to go for sewing lessons, which I have now completed. I have applied for assistance from the Poverty Eradication program they have promised to help me in the very near future. While waiting for the materials from the council, I have been allowed to use one of the machines at the training school to sew some clothes and this is helping to improve my livelihood. I am saving money from my sales so that I can buy some of the things that I will need when I open my business instead of just waiting for the materials from the Poverty Eradication program.

I feel that a huge burden has been lifted from my shoulders because I can see that my future is bright, I can see the direction which my life is taking and I feel certain that my dreams will come true. I am already thinking about more ideas that can improve my life. I ended my relationship with my boyfriend and his family and now my life is free and enjoyable. I have sworn to myself that even if I can start another relationship I shall never let anyone to treat me badly I know my rights now and I shall never condone abuse because I know what I want from life,

Programs are not really accessible in my area but they can be strengthened because most people don’t know about abuse and that it can end up claiming someone’s life. Young people also rely a lot on working for Ipelegeng only without any plans for the future.